We booked a tour to take us down south and left Santiago on Sunday morning at about 9am. There are 11 other people on the trip – quite a varied bunch so that is nice. On Sunday we didn´t have to drive too far, only about 270km. We stopped off for a coffee in a small village where they have a lot of craft shops, mainly selling pottery. We couldn´t buy anything however as we can´t carry any more stuff. A little bit later we stopped to look at a hydro-electric dam of which there a lot in Chile, in the south anyway. We finished our first day´s travels at lunchtime in a place called Pichilemu which is very famous in the surfing world. And we finally got our surfing lesson having failed to do so in Oz and NZ. The surfing school was run by a guy called Elvis who kitted us out in wetsuits (the Humboldt current makes the water here very cold). Then we had to warm up by jogging up and down the beach. Then it was stretching exercises, the full routine, before we practised how to stand up on our surf boards on the beach. So far so good but I felt we were about to encounter another manifestation of the theory-practice gap as soon as we hit the water. And I was right! We paddled out and aided by the instructors managed to catch some good waves. I managed to half stand up and go nearly all the way into the beach on one occasion – really exciting – but spent most of the time falling off. It is exhausting though paddling back out to catch more waves. Katie was better at standing at up than me but didn´t go as far. It was great fun and the wetsuits kept us lovely and warm. When we got back to the surf school Elvis said that I was the best surfer in the group, on account of that one long run and I was awarded a book of photos of surfers! Later we went to another another beach where the waves were much bigger and watched the professionals. Back at the hostel we had a huge dinner of chicken, sausages and pork with salad and in honour of Katie´s birthday I bought a chocolate gateaux which we demolished. By this time it was gone midnight so I turned in but some of the group went across the road to a bar. Katie was bit the worse for wear at 7.15 the next morning! But she had a good birthday.